With more and more riders taking to Super D and endurance downhill racing, the all mountain and long travel trail bike category gets better every year. When looking at the bikes the pro ranks are racing on, one consist ant change most pros are taking to is a 9 speed drive train. In the competitive world of Super D, if you’re riding your granny, you’re off the back. In fact, Pro riders like Ross Schnell and Mark Weir are pushing a 40 tooth chain ring with a full size DH chain guide (the MRP G2 respectively) down (and up) the hills of Super D courses. For the rest of us non-super humans, MRP makes a scaled down version of their G2 guide, the Mini-G.
The MRP G2 Chain Guide. Photo: J. Van Horn
The low 32 tooth capacity of the MRP Mini-G chain guide makes it a versatile chain retaining device and can be used in applications from dual slalom to dirt jumping to super d. I recently acquired one for use with my long term test bike, a Trek Remedy.
With an ample 150mm of travel, the Remedy is one of those bikes on a short list of do-it-all trail bikes. I’ve used it on applications from epic XC rides on the McKenzie River Trail, to light DH riding on Free Lunch in Grand Junction. One thing that has consistently nagged me however, has been chain slap. As a part-time single speeder, I love the simplicity the lack of gears offers, and am not a stranger to pain on steep climbs. In setting up the Remedy for Super D competition, changing to a nine speed drive train seemed just the ticket.
The G2 guide from the back. Photo: J. Van Horn
The only hiccup in this plan is that the Remedy I’m currently riding is a first generation frame and lacks the ISCG mounts of the current models. Fortunately, the Mini-G comes in a BB mount version.
Unboxing the Mini-G
The Mini-G came assembled in the box. Four alloy chain ring spacers are included; a nice bonus, as I didn’t have to dig around for a different set of chain ring bolts. Because the bash guard is integrated into the boomerang, it is lighter than previous designs, and the protection is there where you need it. The guide is fairly simple, with the machined alloy back plate at the heart of it.
Installing the Mini-G. Photo: J. Van Horn
Installing the Mini-G on the Remedy went as smoothly and easily as it gets with chain guides. The design of the BB mount meant there wasn’t a lot of options for chain line, but as everything fit right off the bat, (lucky?) it was simply a matter of bolting it on, and setting the top guide and the lower pulley.
I did have one issue of note: MRP includes lightweight alloy hardware, and you’ll want to be very careful with the amount of torque applied. (it is listed quite specifically in the instructions) In a ham-fisted moment, I stripped one of the mounting bolts, and was forced to drill out the head. After that, I replaced the alloy hardware with more durable stainless steel bolts, to avoid any issues down the road during future servicing and peace of mind.
Chain line out of the box on the Remedy was spot-on. Photo: J. Van Horn
The completed installation. (with stainless bolts in place) Photo: J. Van Horn
First rides with the Mini-G2 guide have been amazing. Having a chain guide on a trail bike really offers confidence during out of the saddle pedaling, and so far I’ve ridden epic trails like the McKenzie River Trail, as well as the freeride/ dirt jump lines at Post Canyon, and the simplicity and security of having a lightweight and bare bones drive train has been reassuring. While I’m unable to make it up the steepest climbs, I’ve surprised myself by stepping up, and cleaning quite of the few I’ve attempted. Running a nine speed drive train on a trail bike rewards aggressive pedaling, as the sit and spin option is no longer a consideration. I’m currently running a 32 tooth Surly single speed ring, and combined with a 34 low in the cassette, it suits my particular riding style quite well. That said, a less fit riding companion is currently riding a similar set up, and has been suffering quite a bit. Going to a 9-speed drive train on a trail bike rewards the strong, and punishes the weak.
Listed Weight: 231g.(BB version)
Ring capacity: 32-36t
This post was originally published on mbaction.com
For more info on the MRP Mini-G2 guide, check out mrpbike.com.